Every year on June 25th, World Vitiligo Day is observed with the aim of increasing the effort for vitiligo healthcare and education and raising awareness of the social stigma and mental challenges faced by those affected by vitiligo. The cause of vitiligo is not well understood, but experts believe that a genetic component may be at play.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease and skin condition that appears as smooth white patches of skin.
What is an Autoimmune Disease?
An autoimmune disease occurs when the body mistakes healthy cells for unhealthy ones and begins attacking them as if they were harmful organisms such as bacteria or viruses. When the immune system attacks healthy cells, they become damaged and that leads to health problems.
Since vitiligo sometimes appears to run in families, it’s understandable that vitiligo Effects will wonder if it’s genetic. It is also understandable that someone with symptoms of vitiligo may want to know if they will pass them on to their children.
Vitiligo and Genetics
Research has shown that genetics plays a role in the development of vitiligo. Evidence suggests it may have a genetic component. Approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of those with vitiligo also have a relative with vitiligo, while 6 percent may have a sibling who has it as well.
According to Dr. Pearl E. Grimes (https://pearlgrimesmd.com/) “In general, I think we can make the statement that roughly 30 to 35 percent of patients with vitiligo will have a positive family history.”
Dr. Grimes explained that this figure generally refers to first- or second-degree relatives.
“We think that the genes that are involved are primarily what we call ‘immune susceptibility genes,’” she said.
Lowering the Risk
As an autoimmune disorder, preventing vitiligo in advance is not yet an option. However, there are vitiligo treatment options that can mitigate its effects and manage its symptoms.